February 28, 2024

Creating an open-concept floor plan HDB can be a daunting prospect: beyond the cost of hacking walls, designing a cohesive open-concept layout might be overwhelming for the unprepared homeowner. But when done well, it can truly make your HDB flat seem way more spacious than it actually is.

What are the benefits of an open-concept layout in HDB flats?

The first benefit of an open-concept floor plan that most people would think of would have to be the amount of space provided by the lack of walls. This visually enlarges your space, and provides more flexibility when it comes to decorating, designing to your needs, as well as more space for guests when they come over.

Open-concept homes connect people from different parts of the common area, such as from the living room to the kitchen. With the lack of walls, you’d get plenty of light and better ventilation as well. Some folks also like the sleek, modern feel that often accompanies open-concept spaces, but that is ultimately up to personal preference.

How can I convert my existing HDB flat into an open-concept layout?

Converting your HDB flat is arguably as simple as hacking down and re-erecting a few walls. Glass partitions can also be used to divide certain areas of the home whilst preserving the open-concept vibe. There are regulations surrounding it, though readers will be glad to know that we have an article that goes deeper into the specifics of wall hacking.

If the idea of bright, refreshing open spaces appeals to you, here are 7 open-concept HDB floor plans that will inspire you and help you imagine your own open-concept homes.

Best open-concept HDB renovations:

Transform your common area into a hobby zone

hobby zoneImage credit: Carpenters Pte Ltd

Some people are fine with just dedicating themselves to one hobby. If you’re the sort of person who happens to love movies, playing pool and also happen to own a huge collection of model kits that you absolutely must display inside of your HDB, then an open-concept floor plan is probably the way to go.

Where usually you’d have just enough space in your common area for a sofa and TV console along with a dining table, this BTO home manages to add a playpen for their furkid, a pegboard wall organiser, a platform zen zone, and even a pool table for a weekend session or two with the mates.

open-concept floor plan 17Image credit: Carpenters Pte Ltd

That said, having an open-concept layout does not mean that you cannot zone parts of the home. This can be done with the use of built-ins such as elevated platforms, glass partitions and island countertops which create both visual depth to the design of the home. The homeowners of this BTO have even created a secluded nook for a solo home theatre.

Enhance your minimalist Japandi home with open spaces

open-concept floor plan 3Image credit: Inspire 90s

One of the big perks of open-concept design is that you’ll have plenty of light and ventilation in your home. This helps to create a comfy and refreshing vibe, especially when compared to having the same space segmented into individual rooms.

open-concept floor plan 4Image credit: Inspire 90s

To enhance the serene atmosphere provided by the plentiful natural light, the homeowners of this minimalist Japandi-style resale flat have taken to having sheer fabric for their shoji sliding doors. This helps soften the natural light that comes into the home, elevating the space into gentle elegance.

Bring back family time with open-concept layouts

open-concept floor plan 5Image credit: Comfort Home Interior

Part of the tragedy of increasingly smaller HDB flats is the loss of common areas for the family to gather and interact with each other. The modern Singapore family probably spends more time in their own rooms than with each other – and it’s little wonder that they do so, with how cramped the living room has become.

This BTO on the other hand, harkens back to a time when evenings at home were lively and filled with conversation; smells of dinner wafting from the kitchen and people gathering at the sofa to watch a TV programme. By using an open-concept floor plan, the homeowners managed to reopen avenues for members of the family to interact with one another across different parts of the home.

open-concept floor plan 6Image credit: Comfort Home Interior

The open-concept layout also lends itself well to visually busy or decor-heavy styles, allowing you to display all your trinkets or adorably vintage ceramic crockery, as this home has done.

Maximise the use of your home real estate

open-concept floor plan 7Image credit: Inspire 90s

If you remain unconvinced by the amount of space that an open-concept floor plan can give you, then you’re in for a surprise. This roomy interior might look like it came straight out of a swanky overseas apartment, but is actually a 4-room HDB BTO.

open-concept floor plan 8Image credit: Inspire 90s

With a kitchen, dining area, plenty of shelves for books and even a dedicated reading area, you could’ve said that this was the studio unit of a bestselling author and no one would bat an eye. Capitalising on the amount of natural light provided by its open-concept layout, almost all of the lamps here are used for warm ambient lighting instead.

open-concept floor plan 9Image credit: Inspire 90s

This unit also shows another way to zone areas in an open-concept home: by using patterned tiles, they’ve demarcated the kitchen area here in an aesthetically pleasant way without closing it off.

Create roomy, yet intimate home spaces

open-concept floor plan 10Image credit: Comfort Home Interior

Having a large space doesn’t mean that your home will no longer be cosy, at least as far as this open-concept HDB layout is concerned. The warm colour palette, combined with sheer fabric blinds, gives this southwestern-style home a very earthy, relaxed atmosphere.

open-concept floor plan 11Image credit: Comfort Home Interior

The home cooks among us might probably have raised a few alarms seeing the kitchens shown on the list so far. With the rest of the home exposed to the smoke, stains and oils from intensive cooking, it might be understood that your days of making curries are over.

Fortunately, you can very much enclose the kitchen whilst still preserving an open-concept look through the use of glass partitions, as this home has done.

Use large spaces to indulge in that luxe bourgeois vibe

open-concept floor plan 12Image credit: Carpenters Pte Ltd

Whilst owning a swanky condo the likes of Corals at Keppel Bay might be somewhat out of reach of many, there’s nothing really stopping you from living out that high-SES dream in your HDB home. With open-concept floor plans, you can recreate the roominess of more expensive homes, which can help those going for a modern luxury interior style.

All you have to do after that is a few choice fixtures, marble facades and gold-accented chairs to complete the look. 

open-concept floor plan 13Image credit: Carpenters Pte Ltd

Create open spaces that help you visualise your ideal home layout

open space

If you’ve ever had a headache over whether your furniture would fit in a room, or worse yet, bought a sofa only to find out that it juts out into the corridor, then maybe an open-concept HDB floor plan might ease your troubles.

It certainly was what this couple did when they got their hands on this Bedok resale flat: they set out to plan the layout of the entire home, right down to the individual placement of furniture.

furniture placementThe homeowners used scotch tape to mark out the furniture placements to ensure the items were comfortably spaced out.
Image credit: @the_bai_house

kitchen island

The versatility provided by the spaciousness of an open-concept floor plan means that larger, more dramatic changes to the home layout are possible. This coffee counter was made possible because they moved the entrance of the kitchen closer to the entrance of the home, giving space for the homeowners for their morning brew and to hang out with friends at.

How does an open-concept design impact the resale value of HDB flats?

Open concept designs are divisive, and even some IDs we’ve interviewed have disagreed on whether it is a desired layout in Singapore. Buyers with children, for example, might prefer to have additional rooms for their kids. That said, open-concept designs provide plenty of open, customisable real estate that younger buyers dreaming of doing their reno might appreciate. 

In fact, if you are selling a small-sized HDB, you can afford to look into spending a bit to create an open-concept layout, making it feel more spacious, modern, and easier to sell for a higher price.

Are open-concept HDB floor plans a good choice?

Of course, there are going to be some downsides to the open-concept HDB layout. One of which being the potentially increased costs of cooling one large room as opposed to multiple smaller ones. But you can always mitigate the electricity bill by using energy-efficient air conditioners and fans.

With the wealth of possibilities opened up by your open-concept HDB floor plans, you can consider having some wall-hacking plans and putting these homes on your mood board for your next home renovation.

For more home inspo, check out:

Cover image adapted from: Inspire 90s, Comfort Home Interior, Carpenters Pte Ltd


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